Walking around Vigan is very pleasing to the eyes, its streets boast intricate architecture, plus so much history. Yet, one’s curiosity isn’t the only thing that’s filled while in Vigan city, also your stomach! With its diverse cultural heritage, its food scene is equally charming to satisfy every foodie.
And here is a run down of the top eats in Vigan.
Cafe Leona, Mena Crisologo Street, Plaza Burgos, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Built from the ruins of the great fire in 1797, stands a two-story house with Spanish design of the Florentino clan of Vigan. This historic house turned restaurant is just right off the base of the iconic heritage street of Calle Crisologo. It’s named after the first poetess of the country, subtle satirist and playwright, Leona Florentino. And poetry translates into food at this restaurant. Though they offer international dishes, the local ones are the bestsellers. Cafe Leona is very popular among tourists, but the queue is worth waiting for their Sinigang na Malaga.
Coffee Break Vigan, 3 Casa Feril, Salcedo, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Craving for a good ol’ coffee and chill? Check out this neighborhood cafe in the middle of Vigan city. You can choose from their two locations, one in Salcedo, and another branch along Calle Crisologo. The vibe is so cozy, perfect for hot/cold brew. Plus pasta, sandwiches, and sweets.
Nanang Sion, Plaridel St, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
“It ain’t Vigan without empanada,” – is the mantra of this specialty restaurant. They’re championing their empanada dough with their secret rice flour mix. The crust is crispy yet soft and delicate. Plus generous fillings of cabbage, papaya strips, Vigan longganisa or local sausage, and egg. Best eaten when the empanada’s right off of the frier. For the hot and rich yolk blends with the garlicky and salty bits of Vigan longganisa. Then sprinkle with sukâng Iloko or native vinegar for an added taste punch. Their empanada flavors match the restaurant’s decor, a rustic courtyard alfresco dining featuring local artists’ pieces and the signature antiques of the heritage city. Not to mention the owner’s favorite bike frames as accents. This crunchy pastry is to be enjoyed all-day at Plaridel St., City of Vigan.
Vigan First Sinanglaoan, A. Reyes St, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Right next to the post office, local folks line up even before this hole-in-the-wall specialty restaurant opens. All after a hot bowl of sinanglao/sinanglaw. A stew dish of beef tendon and innards boiled for hours until tender. Each serving comes with fresh chopped local onions. The clear broth is rich and savory, perfect with white rice. Each table has bottles of fish sauce, local vinegar, and cooked bile, yes, bile, for the added flavor profile to one’s liking. Such a hearty meal any time of the day.
Tongson Royal Bibingka, Calle Crisologo, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Taste of the past is surreal in Vigan, not just the aesthetics but also the food. A bakery turned deli shop, has been serving the crowd favorite rice cake, since 1967 at Calle Crisologo. This local goodie is made with glutinous rice with cheese on top. The rice cake has a nice chewy texture with crunch and saltiness from the cheese that cuts right through its sweetness. Long queues attest its royal rice cake status for more than half a century. Patrons can choose from a to-go box of 8 or 12 as an afternoon munch or as road snacks.
Have you tried any of these? Which is your top pick? Or suggest more in the comments!